• bangalore travel tips

Getting my Western Fix in Bangalore, India

Bangalore is a very modern Indian city. It’s my favorite of the ones I’ve been to. I found it less chaotic and less crowded. The “green city” really is stunning, although our taxi driver told us they are cutting down a lot of the trees to build a metro. If you want to chill out in Bangalore, do some shopping, and eat good grub, read on!

10 Journey Tips for Bangalore, India:

1. The airport is 40 km from the city; plan the hotel you book accordingly.

2. Unlike most airports in India, the government-approved taxis are outside. Don’t use the pre-paid booths inside. Brands like Meru and Mega will be waiting for you when you exit! As always, they will use their meters.

3. It rains hard from May and tapers off later in the year, only raining in the evenings through November. The weather is known throughout India as being a perfect climate, but our first night at the NH7 festival was like a Goan Monsoon!

4. With the ideal weather, it’s very green. One of it’s many nicknames is the Garden City of India, because of the combination of great weather, green trees, broad clean streets, and lush public parks.

bangalore travel tips

Parliament was too small, so they build a replica next door

5. Maybe because of the impact of westerners living here, Bangalore is known for it’s Pub scene (lots of microbreweries popping up) and for it’s underground rock/alternative music, a sub-genre called “Bangalore Rock”

6. In 2012 when Lonely Planet gave their top ten cities in the world to visit, the awarded Bangalore third place. I can see why!

7. They are mostly Hindu and quite strict. The cops wearing cute cowboy hats shut down everything between 10 and 11 (even the music festival we went to ended at 10).

UPDATE: The curfew has been increased since this article was written to 2 AM according to locals, but I can’t find an online source to support this.

8. There are multiple malls in Bangalore. I hit up the two main ones. First, a little outside of town, was Phoenix Market City, the same as in Bombay. They had all my favorites like Zara and Aldo. Second, we went in town to UB City, Indias first Luxury mall, owned by Vijay Mallya. Vijay is the owner of Kingfisher, and is from Bangalore. This mall wasn’t practical for me at all, but was gorgeous and fun to look around.

bangalore travel tips

Phoenix city mall above, and Mallya’s below.

bangalore travel tips bangalore travel tips

9. For street shopping, head to MG (Mahatma Gandhi) Street to get Cashmere shawls, quilts, international food, or DVD’s. Really anything you want, you can find here. It’s the main shopping road in Bangalore. Around the city center, rickshaws probably won’t cost you more than 40 rs but most won’t use a meter.

bangalore travel tips

No matter how great the city is, Indian traffic never goes away.

 10. The best of the tips… FOOD. Where should you eat? It’s complicated because as a westerner I was excited to see all my American fixes: TGIF, Chili’s, Hard Rock Café, KFC, Mcdonalds, and Subway. But at the same time, Bangalore has great South Indian food and amazing café’s and delis. We compromised. We got Southern Indian (I tried my first dosa), ate wings and quesadillas at Chili’s (FYI the menu is all buffaloe meat, not beef), and we ate at the cutest little deli, SmokeHouse Deli, near our hotel. SHD had yummy sandwiches, steak, homemade soups and salads, pork chops… seriously it was good. But don’t get the steak and cheese sandwich unless you’re obsessed with Dijon mustard, because it’s drenched in it. Ok. I’ll admit we had a snack at KFC too. What of it?

bangalore travel tipsbangalore travel tipsPlain paper dosa with sauce

bangalore travel tips

Smokehouse Deli, Bangalore

I didn’t have a lot of time to sightsee. Next time I go I promise to see more attractions so I can give you more tips. Bangalore had so much that reminded me of just being at home, that I could actually picture living there… until I got back to Goa, home sweet home!

If you live in Bangalore or will be there for an extended amount of time, check out this awesome post from fellow blogger Finding the Freedom, . Day trips from Bangalore are great and I’ve done many myself.

No matter how great the city is, Indian traffic never goes away.

Two things I NEVER see in Goa (or hardly anywhere in India) a white guy driving himself in CITY traffic and McDonalds

bangalore travel tips

Although a western city, the airports in India are all the same. Women get one line, men get a million

Have you been to Bangalore? Is there anything I need to check out next time I go?

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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

8 Comments

  1. Michael Huxley December 11, 2013 at 12:34 am - Reply

    Fantastic post, it brings back a lot of fond memories! I totally agree, Bangalore is amazing, it felt like being in a whole new world when I arrived there. It was a whole different feeling from other cities like Mumbai (which I hated).

    • Rachel December 11, 2013 at 5:55 am - Reply

      I agree! it’s much more relaxed, although all my mumbai friends swear the traffic in bangalore is 10x worse than mumbai- i found them to be quite similar haha

  2. Ruth December 12, 2013 at 2:04 am - Reply

    Wow! Everything looks very polished and clean. I have heard this is also one of the technological centers of India (so lots of young, middle class people living in there). I would love to visit.

    • Rachel December 12, 2013 at 5:10 am - Reply

      Yes, you’re right! It’s the I.T. capital of India (and probably the world)

  3. April July 28, 2015 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Hey, I will be traveling there next June and if there are any more pointers that you can give I would greatly appreciate it.

  4. […] My tips on Bangalore […]

  5. Imma December 6, 2017 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel, I wonder if you could help me with some questions. So I will be there for 3 days next week and staying in Sheraton Grande, I’m joining my fiance who is there for business so I will be alone most of the time but I want to go around the city. My understanding is that Sheraton is not right in the city center and to go to main attractions i.e. Palace, UB City, MTR’s I will need to take taxi. That said, which taxi company will you recommend? Can I use English to haggle for Auto price (is it recommended though)? Is it safe to go through Commercial Street alone? Oh and another thing, is it worth it to take a private day tour from a travel agent company?

    Thank you so much in advance :)

    • Rachel Jones December 7, 2017 at 12:18 am - Reply

      Uber is in Bangalore so you can just use that! Makes things waaayyy easier. And if you do take an auto yes you can haggle in English. Safe to travel around alone too! Bangalore is huge and loads of traffic so a day tour might be really exhausting.

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